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There's more from Dale Connelly at The Morning Show


by Dale Connelly, 11/3/00

Dc: This is DCR. News meant for amusement. One of the questions voters will have to ask themselves as they cast their ballots in the presidential contest is... how important is it to me that my president always speaks clearly and coherently? The leader of the free world and commander-in-chief of the planet's most potent military arsenal is taken quite seriously. A mistaken utterance could put our allies on alert or depress the financial markets worldwide. With me in the studio is comment and language consultant Bryce Hennigan. Thanks for stopping by.

Bryce: I'm pleased as pie. (pause) Or punch. If that's the angle you prefer.

Dc: I've always thought punch was pleasing.

Bryce: To each his galoshes. The proof is in the custard.

Dc: How important is it that the president... make sense?

Bryce: Not as important as you think. When the president, or anyone, speaks, most people aren't listening. But on those occasions where it does matter, the content of the saying, or meaning, being speech, has significance beyond it's years. The whole, more or less, is some of its parts.

Dc: The speech has significance beyond its years?

Bryce: Meaning if the meaning is insignificant, or confoundable, then that dog won't fly.

Dc: So... are you saying it doesn't matter, or it does?

Bryce: People can inferior the meaning of a thing from what was said.

Dc: They can infer?

Bryce: If they like. But nobody really knows what we're in for. Until it happens, that is, and then, it's history.

Dc: But you seem to be saying the voters are forgiving.

Bryce: They know that spoken English and written English are two sides of the same pot. And unless you can speak clearly all the time yourself, making a big deal out of it is like people in glass houses throwing kettles and calling them black. You have to let it roll like moss off a stone duck.

Dc: So it's NOT a problem for them.

Bryce: What's not a problem?

Dc: The misspoken ... the mangling of the sayings. And indecisive ... utterings. Utterances.

Bryce: You're not making a lot of sense, you know that? But I think I get what you want to ask, and the answer is No. The American people are more than willing to cut the president some slacks. Whoever he is, and whether he needs them or not.

Dc: Bryce Hennigan is a comment consultant. Thanks.

Bryce: Seriously, it was a piece of cheese.


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